We can generally observe that there is a decline in the basic human values of compassion, generosity, sharing and caring, trust, patience, perseverance, dignity and humility etc… We are born with these human values. They are the hallmark of human evolution and the basis of a peaceful and prosperous world. Their decline in the world is due to many factors, the main one being stress. Volunteers organize stress-relief camps and holistic educational programs and multi-ethnic festivals that help all to contribute to developing a sense of belongingness and an ethic of service bringing cohesion to families and communities.
Human value based education
Over the last three decades, The Art of Living has been effectively revolutionizing education in India by bringing in a paradigm shift both in terms of reaching out to the underprivileged sections and integrating values into the system. Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vision for value education to all, The Art of Living, today, runs 86 schools in the tribal and rural belts of India where child labor and poverty are widespread. Nearly 7,500 children from economically backward areas benefit from this initiative every year. But for these schools, these children also would have been in fields, on the road, in factories - everywhere but in school.
Under its Care for Children project, The Art of Living is not only providing free and value education to children from the underprivileged sections, but also addressing the social, economic and cultural barriers that keep children away from school. The emphasis is on the complete development of a child's full potential by creating an environment that fosters learning. A proven process of self-learning that builds life skills and nurtures leadership is being followed and teachers are given special orientation and training.
A Revolution for Education - Fostering Wholesome Learning
By combining formal education with life skills such as relaxation tools and emotional maturity, The Art of Living schools provide a conducive and stress-free atmosphere of learning to children. Special attention is also given to human values, health and hygiene. The emphasis is on creating a sense of caring and sharing in each child. Along with academic excellence, a child’s natural innocence and a spirit of service are also nurtured. Another area of emphasis is the education of the girl child. All educational institutions of the Art of Living have an in-built mechanism to support the girl child. These schools also educate parents on the advantage of educating their girl offspring. Many of The Art of Living’s schools in the tribal and rural belt have anganwadis and balwadis (crèches) to ensure that girls who take care of their younger siblings can also attend school.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also laid the foundation for a multi-disciplinary university to produce tomorrow’s leaders and managers of change who are socially and spiritually inclined.
The Art of Living’s educational initiatives are a universal endeavour to create an ethical society through integrated value education.